[Coral-List] Invititation to ICRS Hawaii workshop - Seagrass futures in the tropical Indo-Pacific

Chartrand, Katie katie.chartrand at jcu.edu.au
Sun Apr 10 20:22:28 EDT 2016

On behalf of myself and co-chairs, I would like to invite you and interested colleagues to join us for a workshop on Seagrass futures in the tropical Indo-Pacific on Sunday June 19th in the lead up to the ICRS 2016.

We aim to provide a collaborative opportunity to share knowledge and help fill a potential gap in understanding tropical seagrass systems for those working on reefs and with communities in Pacific Island nations. We hope to bring like-minded researchers, NGO reps, government bodies and others working in this region together to discuss what is needed in order to both quantify seagrasses and their ecosystem service roles as well as how best to use this information going forward to understand impacts both to the systems and to the communities they support. We really want to start reaching outside of our seagrass realm and enhance cross-talk with others and feel ICRS is a great opportunity to get our collective expertise together to start this process.

Our research group works primarily on seagrass health and applied science solutions for managing coastal development impacts along the GBR. We have been running various large-scale seagrass monitoring and mapping programs over the last 20 years which has generated a number of GIS products which summarise seagrass trends and condition in the GBR and particularly in areas designated high-risk. Our results and advice have helped guide managers and government agencies quantifying risks and threats (both local and global) to seagrass ecosystem services and how these connect with threats within the entire coral reef framework.

The full workshop description is:

Seagrass futures in the tropical Indo-Pacific

Coral reef and seagrass ecosystems adopt a mutualistic relationship in which the structural integrity of the reef provides habitat for reef top and lagoonal seagrass meadows that, in turn, deliver vital nursery grounds and multi-level trophic inputs to support a more resilient reef system. Climate change-driven threats to coral reefs and the human populations they support are well established. However, impacts on reef-associated seagrass communities and the human dimension associated with such loss have been inadequately addressed. Indo-Pacific island nations are under pressure to find solutions to cope with this imminent change. Our goal is to engage ICRS attendees, particularly those working in this region, to identify effective and applied science solutions in Pacific Island communities facing climate-scale issues that will impact their relationship with seagrass communities. The workshop will promote cross-communication between coral, fisheries and seagrass scientists working on threats such as sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and the human costs of these problems.

Evidence of a successful workshop will be 1) identifying gaps in knowledge and research programs, 2) exploring opportunities for research with other reef scientists, 3) designing a "boots-on-the-ground" approach to the needs of Pacific Island nations, 4) establishing effective and meaningful partnerships with a plan to engage participants post-ICRS, and 5) producing a manuscript summarising our findings.

We are aware there are likely many conversations going on amongst the ongoing workshops/meetings focused on Pacific Island nations and climate change that have already started these discussions. We don't want to "re-invent the wheel" by talking amongst ourselves about already identified knowledge gaps and strategies to move forward.

The workshop is planned for Sunday the 19th of June at 1300 in Room 313B.

Please feel free to pass this info on to colleagues and please RSVP by May 1st if you intend to join us. We also welcome as much (or little) involvement as you would like in planning the workshop and structuring it in ways that are most useful.

Please don't hesitate to contact me or my colleagues if you have any other questions.

Katie Chartrand    (Katie.Chartrand at jcu.edu.au)
Rob Coles                (Rob.Coles at jcu.edu.au),
Skye McKenna      (Skye.McKenna at jcu.edu.au), and
Alex Carter             (Alexandra.Carter at jcu.edu.au)

Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER)
James Cook University
Cairns Australia

Katie Chartrand, BSc, MSc
Senior Researcher
Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER)
James Cook University
PO Box 6811
Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4232 2027
Mob: 0409903113
e-mail: Katie.Chartrand at jcu.edu.au<mailto:Katie.Chartrand at jcu.edu.au>

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